IT CAME FROM 1980x: Screwballs = Sex Ed for Teen Boys and Girls

When I was a kid my dad used to have tapes upon tapes of movies he had taped off TV, typically uncut and usually filled with all the “goodies” Case in point, Screwballs. Screwballs was recorded in LP format and came just after Caddyshack. While I’m not entirely sure how I was allowed to watch the uncut, non-television purified version of Caddyshack at as twelve, well I thank my lucky stars that dear old mum never figured it out. At the time I didn’t know that Roger Corman was in anyway associated with the picture. Figures. Giant, low budget monster movies and loosely based Edgar Allen Poe adaptations certainly give way to comedic representations of large ta ta’s pirouetting across the screen like sugar plum fairies on LSD. So for the boobs. For the sense of humor grown by repeated viewings of said film. For the VHS repeat function that came along years after the initial introduction of VCR, IT CAME FROM 1980x brings you Screwballs (It definitely came… no tissues were hurt in the making of this entry).


Welcome to Taft & Adams High, where the entire student body- including campus virgin Purity Busch, chronic masturbator Melvin Jerkovski, repressed Principal Stuckoff and blonde bombshell Bootsie Goodhead – all must rise to the challenges of freshman breast exams, bikini cheerleader attacks, inappropriate uses of bowling ball holes and much more.

I thought this movie was a lost gem. Who would be interested in a campy sex comedy from the early 80’s when there were SOOOOO many? Who would even know about Screwballs? Did n’t Porkies fill the void? I mean I knew about it because my dad was a boobman, and I, the son of a boobman, was carry on the family legacy with pride, but hey, this one couldn’t have even made its way to DVD right? WRONG. Screwballs has graced the DVD format. Screwballs has graced Blu-ray courtesy of Severin Films. Screwballs is so well loved that it has an enormous vault of special features, interviews, deleted scenes and even a Mr. Skin retrospective (I guess that last one’s a given). I knew I wanted to write about it in It Came From 1980x, but we usually cover… less well liked features or at least moderately obscure pictures. Also usually there’s a horrific element to this column, but I liken this film to Attack of the Killer Tomatoes if the tomatoes were boobies. There’s plenty for the casual fan to be shocked by. Let’s start with the actors and actresses as well as some of the creators.

Rafal Zielinski directed Screwballs. He directed Screwballs II and Screwball Hotel. He also directed one episode of Poltergeist: The Legacy. Not a one hit wonder by any means but definitely Canadian which had me thinking; man, it must have been great to be a Canadian filmmaker in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Your automatically grouped in with Cronenberg and the Strange Brew crew and well… in this case you get to film some vicious nude scenes. Moving on. Linda Shayne and Jim Wynorski wrote this sucker. Linda wrote a few things. Linda also starred in the sequel to Munchies, Munchie and Munchie Strikes Back. The existence of both of these flicks has me shocked. Munchies is another movie that I consider formative in a total gonad/hormonal sort of way. Hell, she was in Big Bad Mama II and Not of this Earth. Oh and she starred as Bootsie in fucking Screwballs! If you have watched Screwballs then you’ve seen the writer naked. Now that’s sorta rare, right? Jim Wynorski has a respectable resume having directed a pile of horror classics: Chopping Mall, Return of Swamp Thing, Sorority House Massacre II, 976-Evil II and Scream Queen Hot Tub Party and all that’s just the movies I feel like listing… How about House on Hooter Hill? Bone Eater? The Hills have Thighs. Just check out his IMDB list here. The Witches of Breastwick 2 will thank you.

Lead Peter Keleghan was in Ginger Snaps. How could I have missed him? Jason Warren who plays Jerkovski was also in the sequel, but keep an eye out for him in Killer Party too.  Terrea Smith was also in Flesh Gordon as well as appearing in the sequel. Type cast? Never! The real kicker beyond the idea that one of the writers as also starred in this flick with amazing boobs and an absolutely fabulous sense of humor and 80’s sex awesome, is that Purity Busch herself had exactly two other acting roles: Degrassi High (whoa!) and BREAKING BAD as… the sexy neighbor. I’m still trying to figure out how you go from Screwballs to Breaking Bad in three moves. It’s like they invented a new chess piece.

Screwballs (or Zapped II as it’s known in the Philippines) is a bunch of very visual gags. You get everything from a nerd trying to hypnotize the local virgin to remove her clothes while inflating a giant hot dog attached to a high dive in a school gym to boobs under glass to a the epic drive-in battle for virginity that involves footage of gladiator battles and heroic music. When I first stumbled on to this flick at an early age I was initially drawn in by the overwhelming pile of spank material it contained. I hadn’t yet discovered dad’s porn stash (although discovering this movie had me looking) and I thought this was how adults got laid. Examing the boobs of the frosh class? Seemed logical. Trying to force a girl to give head to the Eiffel Tower in French class? Must’ve happened at least once. How about sneaking into the local virgin’s house and accidentally porking her mom? Isn’t that how every teen boy earns his V-badge? So I never got a bowling ball stuck on my cock, and for that matter I’ve never had a pile of sexy, promiscuous young ladies assist me in getting a strike, but at least I’ve seen Screwballs. I can say that I’ve seen that.

I’ve never seen seen Loose Screws (Screwballs II) or Screwball Hotel. Remember that I didn’t even know this movie was popular enough to have a DVD release much less a sequel. Screwballs made well over its budget though those involved didn’t exactly expect it to be a success.  I guess I should complete the series and search out the sequels but toconvince my wife I’m doing “research” won’t likely be an easy task. Ever played hide the salami? Well let Screwballs show you how it’s done!  Oh, and beware of Teddy! Bad bad bad.

The Blu-ray release from Severin is fantastic. If you can prevent yourself from watching the movie and cranking one out then you can appreciate the history behind the film and interviews. While there are oodles of deleted scenes, they’re usually from the Spanish VHS copy. Not hi-def, sorry quality heads (if you’re reading this quality is not your first concern). You can pick up Screwballs HERE. Check out Severin Films website HERE and check out their distrubutor CAV Distributing HERE.



About Jimmy Terror

Dr. Jimmy Terror, more commonly known as James P. Harris, has been “writing your eyes” shut since 2010 with his horror themed blog, Dr. Terror’s Blog of Horrors (whose name is a play on words derived from the Amicus film, Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors). In the early 2000’s he fronted the band The Vaudeville Vampires, a short-lived "Horrorabilly" band which saw the creation of a catalog of horror related songs before disbanding (with only one, six song demo ever being produced and distributed). He has had only one on screen appearance to date in the horror short, Ocean Parkway, as maniacal, gloved killer with a hair fetish. Having done some un-credited, behind the scenes work in some low budget genre pictures, he is currently working on his first foray into screenwriting with a demonic, retro gore entry that pays homage to Lucio Fulci, Dario Argento as well as other Italian masters of the genre.
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